Saturday, January 9, 2016

Looking behind and looking ahead: Books of 2015 and 2016

This post is late, of course, because I'm not a wizard. So I'm allowed to be late. However, I wanted to show my appreciation for all the wonderful books I read this past year of 2015. (There were 184!) I also decided to take upon a few reading challenges this coming year (and beyond).

So without further ado, here's my list of favorite books released/published in 2015:

-Remnants: Season of Fire by Lisa T. Bergren
One of the best new-er dystopian series, Season of Fire is the second book in the Remnants series. You can check out my spoiler-free review of the first two books, Season of Wonder and Season of Fire, here. Book three comes out this year! (More on this in a moment.)

-Siren's Fury by  Mary Weber
Another new-ish YA series, Siren's Fury picks up where book one, Storm Siren, left us. And this book is even better than the first one. More tension, more nail-biting action. bring me book three now! Check out my reviews for Storm Siren and Siren's Fury here.

-Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
For years, I've been waiting for Rick Riordan to write a Norse mythology story. Magnus Chase is here--and he's wonderful. I don't know Norse mythology that well, but it was still easy to get into the story. Plus, now I can have fun learning about Norse mythology. Worth it? Yes.

-Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Set after the Grisha trilogy, Six of Crows is basically Ocean's Eleven but with magic. Talk about COOL. I enjoyed this book more than the Grisha trilogy, and I found myself unable to choose a favorite from the six main characters. It's just that well written.

-Winter by Marissa Meyer
Probably my most-anticipated read, Winter concluded The Lunar Chronicles with a wonderful ending. This book, despite 800+ pages, was worth it. I loved the new characters, the interactions of the old, and the ending. This is one series you don't want to miss out on. I look forward to anything else Marissa Meyer writes. Here's my embarrassing review and status update reactions as I read, you  know, for kicks and giggles.

In 2015, I completed a few series I've been working my way through.

-I finally read every single volume of Fullmetal Alchemist. I did it. I finished this series, which is the first manga I read. It was worth it. It was a wonderful, satisfying ending to such a great story. I think I might have cried. Now I'm going to go watch the anime (Brotherhood, obviously).

-I finished The Lunar Chronicles, which I mentioned earlier. It took over a year and half since I read the first ones to get my hands on Winter. And yes, the wait was worth it. This is one of the best fairy tale re-telling I've ever read. Now, I'd like a TV show. I'll even write the script.

-Every year I try to re-read a favorite childhood series. This year I revisited the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. It was amazing how much I remembered from reading them previous. (It's probably been ten years since I read them.) I enjoyed the later years of Laura's story much more this time around. I'll definitely put it on my list to read again ten years.

-I read through every comic connected to Marvel's Civil War, which is being made into a film this year. I wanted to prepare for the movie release, so I "know" what else happened. Yes, it's heart breaking. I'll probably write a post for The Fangirl Initiative on essential comics to read before the movie is released.

2016 promises a ton of new books to read as well as the opportunity to (try to) catch up with books I didn't get to in 2015. Here are my most-anticipated reads of 2016:

-Remnants: Season of Glory by Lisa T. Bergren
This is book three, the final installment of the Remnants series, so I'm anticipating an epic end. Just give it to me now!

-Three Wishes by Lisa T. Bergren
If you know me, you know I love the River of Time books. Three Wishes is another River of Time book, except it's not set in Italy or the 14th century. Instead, Three Wishes is set in California during hte early 1800s. I'm so excited for this book. Plus, the cover is just gorgeous.

-Siren's Song by Mary Weber
The third book in the Storm Siren trilogy, Siren's Song will end the trilogy and (hopefully) Nym's journey. The ending to the second book left me wanting more, so I can't wait for this book to arrive in print in my hand. Plus, I want Nym's green dress, displayed on the cover.

-Stars Above by Marisaa Meyer
This is a collection of short stories about the characters from The Lunar Chronicles. Since I'm not ready to say goodbye, this book is definitely on my short list to read first. Of course, now I just need to wait until February for it to be published.

-Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Remember when I said I would read anything Marissa Meyer writes? Well, later in the year, she's going to be releasing a new book, which is a prequel story to Alice in Wonderland about the Queen of Hearts. I know. It sounds delightful.

-Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan
Of course, I'm looking forward to book two in this trilogy. Hello, that ending was fantastic. I need more humor-filled, Norse mythology to ruin my day.

-The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan
Never would I have ever imagined I'd be blessed with two Riordan books in one year. Yet, here we are. The Hidden Oracle follows the Greek god Apollo, who is cast down from Olympus and ends up in New York as a regular teenager. He has to try to regain favor with Zeus... while being hunted by lots of enemies. I am here for more Apollo sass.

-Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
This is the sequel to Six of Crows. And with the ending of the first book, I desperately need this book in my hands. Now. Plus, I love this world and these characters. Learning about them was one of the best parts of the books. So, more please!

There are probably stacks of books I'm looking forward to reading this year, but these are the ones currently on my radar and the ones I need immediately.

In addition, I've challenged myself to read 150 books this year. Last year's goal was 100 and I read 84 "extra" books. I think 100 is too easy. I've also decided to read through Les Mis with a friend, which is a daunting endeavor. I'm excited to see how the book differs/is similar to the musical.

Every year I try to re-read a book series from my childhood. Every year, I tell myself I'm going to re-read the Chronicles of Narnia, yet I never do. So I'm either going to re-read Narnia or re-read A Series of Unfortunate Events in preparation for the Netflix show! (I'm so excited for this.) Or... I could do both. Who knows?

 I've also decided to take upon myself the task of reading every Star Wars book. Yes, you heard me, every single one. I've got a list of non-canon (aka "legends") books in chronological order. I've heard many opinions on where to start, what to read, what to skip. But I'm going with this list because I want to. I've read some of the children's books a long time ago, but I decided I need to do more. This, however, is not going to be just a 2016 reading goal. There are over four hundred books on the list, which would take a few years. So I'm going to try to read them all by the time Episode IX comes out, which I think is 2019. That gives me three-ish years. I don't know if I'll complete it, but I'm going to try. This will be fun.

I found a few 2016 reading challenges I'd like to try. I tried one for 2015, but I didn't complete a handful of the prompts. Still, it was fun to see at the end of the year how many books I did read fulfilled the prompts.

How was your 2015 reading year? What will you be reading in 2016?


  1. Those are some awesome challenges, friend. Thanks for all the love for my books! xoxo

    1. :)

      You're welcome. Keep writing, I'll keep loving!